By Tom Skibinski, DIRT Modified Series Reporter
Syracuse, NY — October 9, 2005 — For the second time in Super DIRT Week history, the headline Eckerd 200 for DIRT big-block Modifieds on Sunday has been delayed due to rain. Only once before has DIRT MotorSports NorthEast's premier open-wheel event been held past the scheduled date and that was in 1977 when the Modified main was eventually run off in the Spring of '78. The 2005 finale has been postponed indefinitely.
"We're facing a forecast of rain for the next five days with even worse conditions expected on Monday," said SDW events coordinator Tonya Moschell. "We plan to work cooperatively with the competing race teams and members of the State Fairboard to establish a date that will be satisfactory for all parties involved."
Moschell further clarified that the Eckerd 200, when rescheduled, will be a non-points race toward the overall Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRT Championship and the only two Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series events remain at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. on Oct. 16 and Bridgeport (NJ) Speedway on Oct. 23 during the Atlantic Coast Championships.
The 34th edition of the Eckerd 200 opened with both green and yellow flags waving due to an ongoing mist in the air which glazed over the Syracuse Mile. Pole-sitter Billy Decker paced the 45-car field even when the green appeared all by itself with 15 laps showing the scoreboard.
Pennsylvanian Rick Laubach brought out the first caution period under racing conditions on lap 31 when his yellow no. 5 Lincoln Auto Body/TEO shredded a tire exiting turn three and slid into the outside retaining wall. The water pump belts failed on fellow Keystone State pilot Jeff Strunk's no. 88 BPG Racing/TEO mount to incur a second slowdown on lap 38 and yellow lights appeared for the final on lap 52 when DIRT officials declared the track unsafe due to the sprinkles that continued to fall.
The field was brought down pit road and remained parked there as team crews rushed out to cover their prized machines with tarps. After another hour of light rain came to an end, Public Address Announcer Joe Marotta then made the call to bring out the "parking lot packers" and a hundred vehicles toured the track in hopes of saving the surface. However, showers returned shortly thereafter and the formal announcement was made to postpone the race at 7 o'clock.
The DIRT MotorSports™ Advance Auto Parts Modified Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Advance Auto Parts, Dynomax Performance Exhaust, Hoosier Racing Tire and Sunoco Race Fuels. Promotional Partners include Stacker 2®, AMB i.t., RACEceiver, Zippo Lighters and F.X. Caprara Car Companies and the contingency sponsors are DART Machinery, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, MSD Ignitions and Wrisco Industries.
Contact: DIRT MotorSports, Inc.Tom Skibinski, DIRT MotorSports™ NorthEast Media ManagerOne Speedway Drive, Weedsport, NY 13166Phone: (315) 834-6606 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com